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Poster: GennyBenni Date: Feb 3, 2010 6:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: 1969-02-28 dark star

This has long been my favorite Dark Star from this four-night run. I can't put my finger on exactly why, but it just feels like the most "beautiful" of all four. It feels sadder than most dark stars, to me anyway.

An example of the sadness I'm talking about happens just after the first verse, at 6 minutes or so, where the music starts to build (we hear Weir repeating some really interesting rhythmic and harmonic patterns) and finally, where the music usually comes to a climax and we are expecting to come tearing in, the energy suddenly drops wayyyyy down and becomes sad, almost tragic. Garcia lets out a series of mournful two- or three-note phrases that sound like musical tears. Just amazingly beautiful. The music then slowly builds back up to the crescendo we expect around this point in the song.

Anyone have similar or contrasting feelings about this dark star?

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Poster: Arck Date: Feb 4, 2010 3:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1969-02-28 dark star

For a long time this has probably been my go-to Dark Star. Others are more exciting (say 8 April 72), more dramatic (perhaps 17 Sep 1970), more bombastic, more groovy (some of the 71 versions could possibly be described this way - the Road Trips 1.3 one, for example) but I have not yet heard one as pure and beautiful as this. I don't think I'd recommend it to someone else as the one to listen to and I probably wouldn't enjoy it in certain moods but the gentle beauty of it makes it special for me.

My preferences for Dark Stars from this run? 28, then 27, then it's probably a tie for the other two, although I'd listen to plenty of other Dark Stars before listening to 1 and 2 March 69.

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Poster: drspark61 Date: Feb 4, 2010 7:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1969-02-28 dark star

The 2/28 Dark Star also takes another interesting turn in tone and tempo around the 13 minute mark, which is also when Jerry drops out for a couple of minutes and the song is carried mostly by Bob. Overall, this DS seems to me to have an "airiness" that sets it apart from other versions around the same time. That said, the 2/27 version will probably always be my favorite from the run.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Feb 4, 2010 6:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1969-02-28 dark star

In my opinion 2/28/69 is the best show of the four, but I dont think the Dark Star can hold a candle to performance on the preceeding night. If there is a more emotive Dark Star than 2/27/69, I have not heard it...

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 4, 2010 9:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1969-02-28 dark star

This is exactly what gets me about the five min or so of 9-19 prior to the second verse...I have yet to hear one that can give me that little chill, almost "tear to your eye" kind of feel...I am now SO biased though, that I think so much of that one, and have heard it so often, that it is hard to be objective if that makes sense...just like a song that you heard at one key moment of your life, some emotional setting, somehow the DS of 9-19, from the 19-22' min mark or so (following, of course, a nice seque from space to jam,all of which begins at the 13' mark or so, but is not the sublime, softly played notes that I speak of) just grabs me know as if I had heard it in the background the first time I saw my wife, etc., etc.

Not necessarily the whole DS, but that section can't be beat for me, in precisely the fashion you allude to, CLIFF...

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 4, 2010 2:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1969-02-28 dark star

Alrighty...just spent the afternoon comparing the two: have to agree, I'd go with 2-27...but...I'd still pick, for me alone perhaps, 9-19-70, as having more of a sorrowful sound, but I do admit that the interlude of insect noise is something altogether absent from the Fillmore Run shows...

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Poster: GennyBenni Date: Feb 4, 2010 6:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1969-02-28 dark star

I love the insect noise from 9-19. I don't know how they figured out how to manipulate feedback like that, but it's pretty fucking amazing.

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Poster: GennyBenni Date: Feb 4, 2010 9:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1969-02-28 dark star

I can't argue with that. I agree that 2/27 is definitely a fuller, more expansive covering, and of course I'm biased by a lifetime of listening to Live/Dead.

I think 2/28 is worth multiple listenings, though - it has a hell of a lot going on.

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Poster: Lou Davenport Date: Feb 3, 2010 7:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1969-02-28 dark star

6 minutes in is what makes this Dark Star--heart-breakingly beautiful. Otherwise, I blow hot and cold on it.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Feb 4, 2010 1:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1969-02-28 dark star

I prefer the Stars from 2/27 and 3/1, though as a whole show 2/28 is my favorite. I remember the other Stars being denser, more 'composed', but I haven't listened to these shows together in a long time. In this Star, Garcia seems to take the others by surprise with his change in direction...

It's interesting that, in spite of recording for an album, they made little attempt to have a "standard" jam each night, but kept playing it differently each time.... (The early '68 recordings follow more of a set pattern, with the songs similar from show to show.)
The early-'69 Dark Stars in particular are markedly changeable - perhaps because it was going through a new growth spurt, while the rest of the songs had been at their 'standard' form for some time. It was only two weeks earlier that Dark Star started passing the 20-minute mark...

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 4, 2010 6:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1969-02-28 dark star

Whoa--this is making me realize I don't think I have EVER set down and compared them...I have to do this soon; but what really got me going was LiA's comment about the DS's being diff, in spite of the recording biz.

I have noticed this about two of my other fav tunes that I am always searching for and comparing: TIFTOO and Eleven...for these, I was very surprised at how different the Elevens were over this stretch of nights, and then of course to find out they didn't even use one, kinda fit with my impression.